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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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June 16, 2024

Ryan Palmer captures season-best finish, Kevin Chappell wins Texas Open

Ryan+Palmer+shot+a+71+Sunday.
Photo by By Lawrence Smelser

Ryan Palmer shot a 71 Sunday.

SAN ANTONIO — Former Texas A&M golfer Ryan Palmer captured his best finish of the season at the Valero Texas Open Sunday, finishing in a tie for sixth after carding a seven-under par for the week.
Palmer, who graduated in 2000 with a degree in parks and recreation, shot a 1-under par, 71 Sunday after rounds of 74, 68 and 68 the previous three days. 
The top-10 finish is Palmer’s third in a row at the Texas Open after placing tied for sixth in 2015 and tied for fourth in 2015.
“It was a good week,” Palmer said after his round. “After shooting 74 on Thursday, having to play good on Friday just to make the cut, and then to finish top six is huge. It’s a huge boost for the rest of the season. I’m getting myself going and playing stronger. What a great week after the start I had.”
The Amarillo native opened his final round with bogeys on hole Nos. 5 and 6, but shined on the back nine with three straight birdies on holes 14-16. On the scenic 172-yard par-3, 16th that features a bunker in the center of the green, Palmer showed off his ball-striking ability hitting it 9-feet away from the hole. Palmer shined throughout the week on TPC San Antonio’s back nine, making 11 birdies.
“I needed to,” Palmer said of his good play on holes 14-16. “I had a bad swing on 13 and a bogey but I just stayed positive and stayed calm and was able to string in three birdies in a row and get one on 17 and then I had the bad one on 18.”
Over the past two years, Palmer has finished three and five strokes short of the leader, and has 14-straight starts in the tournament. The 3-time PGA Tour tournament winner pocketed $200,725 for sixth but will attempt to better his result next year. 
“I feel like I can get this one, one day,” Palmer said with a smile. “We’ll keep trying. I love coming here. I love the golf course, love what it provides. The fans keep showing up every single year. Valero’s got to be so excited. It shows a lot what the city of San Antonio brings to the table here and the great state of Texas and I’m always excited to be here.”
Palmer now has back to back season-best tournament results after finishing tied for 11th at the RBC Heritage last week in South Carolina. The 40-year-old said the results are great for his confidence heading into the middle of the PGA Tour season.
“It’s huge, after the start I’ve had and the struggles I was going through,” Palmer said. “It’s huge for the rest of this month. With next week at the Zurich Classic and then with the Players Championship coming up. I’ve got some fun weeks ahead of me and I’m looking forward to them.”

Kevin Chappell wins, Brooks Koepka finishes runner-up

Fresno, California’s Kevin Chappell captured his first PGA Tour win Sunday after an electric finish at the 18th, sinking an eight-foot putt to hand him a one-stroke victory over Brooks Koepka.

Chappell retained the clubhouse lead from the previous day and shot a four-under 68 enroute to his win. The 30-year-old made six birdies compared to only two bogeys in his final round.

I was very much at ease out there. It helps. I got off to a good start striking the ball. Ball was coming out in the middle of the face, going in the direction I wanted it to. That always tends to put me at ease.

And, you know, the only time I really could have freaked out today would have been on 15 and, like I said, I knew that 12 was the number. I knew that was the number to get to and I knew I had some scoring holes coming up.

In 2011 as a rookie, Chappell finished in a tie for second one stroke behind winner Brendan Steele. Chappell said after the tournament that “the monkey finally jumped off his back.”

“Just a big relief for me,” Chappell said of finally winning. “I don’t have to answer that question anymore. I feel like I have a base to kind of jump off from with my career moving forward.I mentioned it a few times, that I have a runner-up here and definitely had me motivated to get a win here.”

Chappell’s birdie at 18 gave him the edge over Koepka, who played the course on fire with a 7-under 65, a score that matched the tournament low for the week.

“You appreciate it every time you win because it’s so hard,” Koepka said of Chappell’s win. “He’s an unbelievable player. He was in contention for Ryder Cup last year. I mean you look at all the stuff he’s done, it’s pretty impressive and it’s kind of amazing that he hasn’t won how good he’s played. I’m happy for him, get the first win out of the way and, you know, hopefully for the next few years we’ll be battling it out.”

With the win, Chappell gains 500 FedExCup points and takes the Texas Open’s $1,116,000 prize, marking his largest payday of his PGA Tour career.

 

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